Business

  • Shama TV: How to Write a Book

    It’s time for another episode of Shama TV! Are you one of the many people with a book in your head, but nothing on paper? In this episode Shama, who just finished her second book titled Momentum, shares some of her tips on how to turn your book idea into a reality. Scroll down for a transcript. Hey Zen Nation, Shama here. In today’s episode, we talk about how to write a book. I just finished writing my second book. It’s called Momentum. You guys are the first to hear about it and it’ll be out in the spring of 2016. It’s all about how to market in the digital age. I’m very excited about it! My first book, as many of you guys may know, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, is now going into its fourth edition, also in the spring, so, crazy book writing time for me. I’ve really been immersed in the book writing world and I meet so many of you who ask me all the time, how do I write a book? You’ve got great ideas, and I often tell you, you should write a book! So how do you actually write a book? If you have…

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  • 5 Ways to Choose a Keynote Speaker that Delivers Value to Your Audience

    Putting together a successful event involves a lot of prep work. You have to deal with finding an appropriate venue that will be comfortable for your audience, a time of year that is convenient for most to travel, a stimulating itinerary for attendees, and more. What many people are now starting to realize is that a keynote speaker is crucial to the success of any conference or event. What most people know then, is that—they should probably have a keynote speaker at their event. What many people don’t know though is how to choose the best candidate to be a keynote. Choosing a keynote speaker is a delicate process and in the end, can be the factor that makes or breaks how successful your event is. That being said, we’re here to make sure you make the right decision. Here are the things you should keep in mind when reviewing candidates for your keynote. Think of Your Budget Credit: Meetings and Conventions, North Star Travel Media Although it’s certainly not the most fun to think about, you have to think about money when it comes to your event. And being that you have to think about money, it’s important to…

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  • Who is Your Customer? Your Guide to Creating the Perfect Customer Profile

    We recently talked about how important it is that the content, social media, and search teams at a marketing company work together. But where can they start? A good point of focus to start at is who you’re doing all the work for in the first place. No, silly—not you. Your customer! Who are they and what do they want? What do they need that they don’t know they need? In our blog today, we’re going to give you some of our tips here at Marketing Zen for crafting the perfect Customer Profile. What are their demographics? The last time you may have read up on demographics may have been high school; what’s a country’s population, main export, main language, etc. But it’s time to start thinking of demographics in a whole new light—how they relate to your customer specifically. Or, if you’re an agency like us here at Marketing Zen, the customer of your client. Here are some demographic questions you should be able to answer about your customer: What is my customer’s age or age range? What is my customer’s gender? What is my customer’s relationship status? Are they single or are they married? Do they have children?…

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  • Post-ROI Marketing: What Every CEO Should Know

    CEOs Turn To Marketers To Lead the Way in Digital Business In a period of growth, it’s time to reexamine your marketing strategy. We’re finally shedding the lingering vestiges of one of the worst economic setbacks in our history. The indications of a tentative recovery have blossomed into something we haven’t seen in a while: honest-to-goodness growth. Marketers have more cause than many to celebrate the economic turnaround. We all know that marketing budgets are the first to get cut when the going gets rough – but the last item to get on the budget. Measuring Optimism, Strategizing Growth So where does marketing fit in this brave new world of (somewhat cautious) economic optimism? Gartner’s annual CEO Survey offers some interesting points to consider: Growth tops the list of strategic business priorities for 2014 and 2015 — three times more than bottom-line concerns 43% of respondents have a formal digital leader now, and another 13%plan to appoint one within two years Many CEOs define “digital business” in marketing terms CEOs rank digital marketing as the most important tech-enabled capability forinvestment over the next five years CEOs and senior business leaders view information as a corporate asset Digital Leadership – The…

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  • Diversity is Vital in the World of Information Technology

    Information technology is a broad term, covering everything from computer hardware to ecommerce. And because it includes such a wide range of businesses and technologies, all interconnected in some form or fashion, the IT community is a vibrant, flourishing entity. Far from being a unified, cohesive whole, however, it thrives precisely because of the diversity represented within its ranks. Diverse viewpoints are vital to a thriving business community. When professionals with differing perspectives on the issues of the day have the opportunity to share their ideas and opinions with one another, incredible syntheses can result. That’s why we were thrilled to have the opportunity to send one of our own to represent Marketing Zen at the HITEC Leadership Summit in Palo Alto, California last month. HITEC, the Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council, is a global organization comprised of successful business executives from every area of information technology. Its mission is to promote professional growth for its members and to increase Hispanic leadership in the realm of IT by mentoring the next generation. Members of the HITEC Board of Directors include such notable figures as the CIO of AT&T, the CIO of Hewlett-Packard, the CTO of Lockheed Martin, and the CIO…

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  • Entrepreneurship: A Heady Cocktail of Action and Connections

    What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word entrepreneur? Someone so dedicated to their innovative business idea that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to see it succeed? A person with such passion for their dreams that they work harder than just about anyone you know – and love every minute of it? Or maybe you see yourself in that word, your own passion and drive propelling you down the bumpy – but rewarding – path of entrepreneurship. The word entrepreneur comes from the Old French, and those linguistic roots provide some surprisingly nuanced insight into the nature of people who found businesses. The French word entreprendre means to undertake, which has a long list of such dynamic synonyms as embark, endeavor, tackle, devote, stake, venture, and set in motion. Entrepreneurs are doers. They turn their passion into action, and make things happen. But our little language lesson doesn’t end there. The French word entre, by itself, means between, and that gives us our second insight into entrepreneurship. It’s all about making connections between people. Connections between the entrepreneurs and their customers, yes, but also connections with their peers in the business world,…

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  • Three Steps to Being Desirable for Clients

    Everyone wants to portray himself or herself as an expert. In fact, most companies would say that they don’t just want to portray themselves as experts. They also want to be experts. They want clients and prospective clients to think of their company as the go-to company for anything that the client needs or desires. Being that go-to company makes your company extremely desirable for clients and potential clients. Learn all about the three ways to become desirable to clients.   1. Demonstrate Your Knowledge of the Subject One of the best ways to show that you know what you’re doing (and are therefore an expert) is through a newsletter or blog. Successful B2B blog posts help improve your image as an expert, particularly because they make your company well known. You’ll want to make sure that your blog is well known in order to have the full advantage of running a blog. Don’t just offer diluted information to your readers, though. You want to make sure that they know you’re an expert, not someone who’s just getting by on their information. You want your readers to know that you are an expert, which is why producing shallow posts simply…

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  • 7 Tips For Successful B2B Blogs

    Blogs are an important part of any online marketing strategy, and getting your blog noticed can be difficult. It can also be hard to make sure that your B2B, or business to business, blog posts are successfully aimed and draw in the correct audience. In fact, successful blog posts can be particularly difficult since sometimes it requires more than content for great content marketing. However, there are some common characteristics that B2B blog posts have that can make your B2B posts successful. Read on to learn these seven tips! 1. Always incorporate media. Too many B2B blogs are focused on getting solid content, so they publish text-only blogs. This is boring, even to other business people. Incorporating photos, graphs, and videos will make your blog much more visually interesting and will increase the chances of having return readers. 2. Post regularly. This does apply to all blog posts. How can you expect to build a solid readership base if you post irregularly? Blog regularly, and set up a schedule to help you maintain that regular blogging. Keep to that schedule! But don’t just make up content in order to meet your schedule. You always want to provide you readers with…

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  • What you need to know now about the future of digital marketing

    A recent industry forecast by global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company aptly points out that “Digital marketing is about to reach more challenging territory”.  The basis for this assertion is not surprising. Consumers are in power. Our current digital age places them squarely in the driver’s seat when it comes to how they receive marketing messages. Taking that a step further, we are barreling toward a place where consumers are not only determining “how” messages are received, but “what” messages they’ll receive. We’re talking about on-demand marketing that in the words of McKinsey and Company’s London director, Peter Dahlström, “cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.” As digital technology advances, and smarter, more sophisticated devices are at the finger tips of the average consumer, McKinsey and Company predicts four areas of demand that marketers will need to satisfy: Now:   Consumers will want to interact anywhere at any time. Can I: They will want to do truly new things as disparate kinds of information (from financial accounts to data on physical activity) are deployed more effectively in ways that create value for them. For me:  They will expect all data stored about them to be targeted precisely to their needs…

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  • The Bottom Line on What Facebook Partner Categories Mean for the Little Guys

    When Facebook launched its new ad-targeting solution Facebook Partner Categories a few weeks ago, we’re pretty sure we heard a loud, collective, “Wooooohoooo” from every small business owner using Facebook ads to market their business. And they have every right to be happy beyond measure because Partner Categories, for small fries, are the great equalizer. In case you missed the announcement, Facebook Partner Categories allow brands on the social network to get ads in front of targeted users based on their activity across the Web, through desktop and/or mobile, plus their offline purchases and tendencies. Previously, targeting was based on users’ Facebook activity. Moreover, all of this is powered by data provided by market research heavyweights Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom and Blue Kai. Partner Categories are a gold mine for advertisers because it provides significantly more detail about where to place ads and the users they should target.  Advertisers who target more will have access to more information than those who target less, thus  increasing the opportunity to achieve higher ROI. Most small businesses never have access to the kind of  budget-busting, yet invaluable market data that these Partner Categories provide. They can now create highly-relevant and efficient campaigns that reach…

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  • Creating “Share-alicious” Content to Build Your Online Community

    Ever wonder why some organizations seem to have no problem at all building and engaging their online communities when your company spends a great deal of time working to get more fans, to no avail?  Does it seem like no matter what you post, tumbleweeds blow across your page.  Very few, if any “likes” or comments are happening, with the exception of the one super fan you can always count on (read: your mom) who “likes” everything you post (because she loves you). You’re not alone. Many companies struggle to find the sweet spot in content creation. But if you listen closely, your audience is telling you what they want to hear. Deliver it, and you’ll see your online community start to take shape. First understand what moves your audience If you don’t have a deep understanding of who your audience is then you’ll have a difficult time figuring out what motivates them to act. Chances are you have a general idea of who your targets are, but  it’s important to drill down to their demographic characteristics as well as their psychographics. Know what their passions are and where their pain is, and start conversations around these drivers. For example,…

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  • Mobile-Friendly Sites Translate To A More Successful User Experience

    A mobile-friendly site may be what you need to turn visitors into customers. In a world where people are constantly on the go and the average consumer is splitting their attention between information found online and in person, most people have come to expect to find the resources that they want on a variety of different platforms and available to them whenever they want it.  This could be the simple task of Googling information on their laptop, all the way to the very modern act of purchasing a brand new laptop right from their mobile device. However, just because mobile-sites are becoming more and more readily available for the average consumer, does this mean that mobile users are actively seeking out these sites to use on a day-to-day basis? For many researchers and marketers who have been exploring the importance of mobile-friendly sites for consumers within the last few years, the answer is a very resounding yes. Having a quality mobile site is more than just creating an attractive mobile layout for your web page or hoping to bring in a few more sales. This platform is becoming an irreplaceable component for many brands who are hoping to create long-lasting…

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